Who? The Jan Joggers. You know. The ones who start exercising in January to shift the Christmas lard. The one’s who shout around the office, school yard about how they have lost a quarter pound this week. But fail to mention that the only reason they had moved in November or any month before that was to do the Christmas shopping.
The Jan Joggers are great. They have lovely new outfits. Christmas presents no doubt or others are outfits bought in the sales in January. And when they got back home were left in the wardrobe until the next attack of guilt kicked in and they decided to do something about it. The problem with the Jan Joggers though is that they are all usually starting to fail now. A bit like wasps in September. You may see one straggling around the last bar B q and comment on how surprising it is to see one. A wasp I mean. You will have no problem in seeing the Jan Jogger around a Bar B q come the Summer.
You see the difference with the Jan Jogger is the season. And now that we are coming into Spring we will see the hardcore joggers coming out to play. The lean, toned jogger. Usually with a contraption on his/her arm monitoring how many blood cells are flowing in a particular artery at a rate per minute. Unlike the Jan Jogger who has a stepper that came free with the Special K box that was bought in bulk three days after New Years as the last of the vol au vents were playing havoc with their equilibrium.
The Jan Jogger usually operates at night. You can see them, sometimes a him and her couple. The “she” in the latest sporting gear and may have a head band. The glowing red cheeks matching the velour tracksuit and Nike trainers. Huffing and puffing beside her male Adonis. Bedecked gracefully in his black t shirt, towelling shorts that he bought for Lanzarote seven years ago and black socks that he hasn’t bothered to take off from work. They don’t talk. They can’t.
Each of them has thoughts running through their heads. “Are we mad?” “If I give up now, he/she will blame me”.
There is a certain inevitability to the failure. The only momentum is the countless weight loss programmes on television and the magazines spouting out endless diets and recipes. “The new you for 2019” they cry. But the Jan Jogger isn’t feeling too new at the minute. Granted the first week was a struggle but there was a certain amount of feel good and achievement at being able to go into the people in work and say they had run three miles last night and it only took under the hour. But as week three and four wore on and the whole chill of February came with no sign of brightness, the novelty and more-so the questioning of the whole reasoning and the “is this actually good for you?” doubts come into play.
Then it happens. It can be as simple as a Chinese. A children’s party, an unexpected neighbour calling for a cup of tea or glass of wine. The distraction. The one thing that knocks the Jan Jogger out of sync and suddenly the couch and TV are more appetising than pounding the pavement in the dark. Unbeknown to the Jan Jogger, the fitness fanatic is secretly looking up the Internet for the latest trainers and running gear for the season ahead. They have been keeping in trim over the winter – only doing thirteen mile runs on Saturday with a ‘few five milers’ in between. Thursday nights are a night off. Pilates.
And therein lies the difference. The seasoned runner has been doing it all year round. And to expect to shed the Christmas pounds and parade around like Twiggy come March is beyond even the most willing of Jan Joggers realistic goals.
Anyhow as we leave February behind and head into March. You may still see a Jan jogger out and about. If you do, parp the horn or wave and give a “well done”. Don’t expect a response though. Those lungs haven’t adapted to speaking and gasping at the same time